SXSW Directorial Debuts To Watch: 'The Mend,' 'Before I Disappear' And 'We'll Never Have Paris'
Three of the most anticipated SXSW films mark three directors’ feature film debuts, The Mend, Before I Disappear and We’ll Never Have Paris.
The Mend, from director John Magary is featured in the Narrative Feature Competition. Only eight films were selected to premiere at SXSW, out of 1,324 submissions.
“One night in Harlem, sour, aging Mat reunites with his younger brother Alan, just before Alan heads out for a long-planned vacation with his live-in girlfriend Farrah. Only days later, much sooner than expected, Alan returns home from his vacation to find his apartment commandeered by Mat, Mat’s girlfriend and Mat’s girlfriend’s son. As doors slam and the power gives out and the threads of family fray, a mystery lingers: why has Alan returned home without Farrah,” reads the official description.
The Mend, starring Josh Lucas as Mat, Stephen Plunkett as Alan, Sarah Steele, Leo Fitzpatrick and Mickey Sumner, premieres Sunday, March 9 at 9 p.m. at the Alamo Ritz 1&2, with additional screenings Monday, March 10 and Thursday, March 13.
Before I Disappear
Before I Disappear from director Shawn Christensen is another film premiering in the Narrative Feature Competition. Christensen makes his feature film directorial debut with an adaptation of his Oscar-winning live action short film Curfew. Christen won the Oscar for Best Live Action Short in 2013.
“At the lowest point of his life, Richie gets a call from his estranged sister, asking him to look after his eleven-year-old niece, Sophia, for a few hours,” reads the synopsis.
Christensen reprises his role from the short as Richie opposite young actress Fatima Ptacek’s Sophia – Ptacek also played the role in the Oscar-winning short film. Adding to the well-rounded cast are Emmy Rossum (Shameless), Paul Wesley (The Vampire Diaries), Ron Perlman (Sons of Anarchy) and Richard Schiff (The West Wing). With a talented cast and an Oscar-winning director, Before I Disappear is sure to be a highlight of the SXSW festival.
We'll Never Have Paris
Another highly anticipated premiere comes from actor/director Simon Helberg. Best known for his role as Howard on The Big Bang Theory, Helberg is premiering his directorial debut, We’ll Never Have Paris, as part of SXSW’s Narrative Spotlight. Helberg, who co-directed the film with Jocelyn Towne, also wrote the film and stars as Quinn. The film has a star-studded cast, including Melanie Lynskey, Maggie Grace, Zachary Quinto, Alfred Molina, Jason Ritter, and Judith Light.
“We’ll Never Have Paris is a clumsy and at once human account of screwing up on a transcontinental level in a noble effort to win back the one,” reads the description.
We’ll Never Have Paris will have its world premiere Monday, March 10 at Topfer Theater at ZACH and will also be screened Wednesday, March 12, and again Thursday, March 13.
Cast members and directors from The Mend, Before I Disappear and We’ll Never Have Paris are expected to attend the festival and Supper Suite STK after parties.
– Olivia Truffaut-Wong
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